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DOJ Antitrust Drops Its Scarlet Letter Policy

April 17, 2013

By JEREMY EVANS

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced that it will end its "Scarlet Letter" policy and no longer publicly identify executives excluded from corporate plea agreements as “carve-outs,” whom DOJ Antitrust has not committed to prosecuting individually. This change offers protection for individuals from reputational harm and potentially avoids their facing civil litigation. DOJ Antitrust continues to insist though that corporations entering its leniency program enter felony guilty pleas to Sherman Act violations. However, this exposes corporations to enforcement actions and civil litigation in jurisdictions around the globe.